Scratchy McGrowl spent his nights on the prowl
stalking the yards without care.
While Ava VanPowell plotted murder most foul
for her books, at her desk by the stair.
So Scratchy would fight and Ava would write
til the sky would near break with the dawn.
Ava opened the sash and in Scratchy would dash
and they'd both greet the day with a yawn.
They would put on their slippers and breakfast on kippers
and chat about scraps, plots and muddles.
Then ‘neath duvets they’d lay, tucking in for the day
and drift off to sleep in a cuddle.
© Mo O'Hara 2015
I pretend a lot at school to make it through the hours.
Pretending is, in fact, my most impressive super power.
I pretend times table terrors aren't always attacking
Like an army marching down the page- my pencil sends them packing.
I pretend the words and letters aren't all dancing round the book
and sneaking up and thwacking me each time I have a look.
I pretend that I don't feel the little whispers and the stares.
I pretend that I'm invincible, impervious to care.
I pretend that I am 'getting it' and know just what to do.
I pretend that I fit in here, like a foot fits in a shoe.
I pretend that all my fidgeting and squeezing goes unseen.
that I turn myself invisible with my super sonic beam.
'You pretend a lot,' my teacher tells me. Drat! How does she see?
I'll up the power to my ray beam. She'll soon move on past me.
But she leans in and she smiles, 'You're an awful lot like me.'
I turn down my ray and listen, and for once try being me.
Poem © 2014 Mo O'Hara
“Go on, eat up all your people."
"But I really don't feel well.
Maybe I could skip my dinner?"
"You're just faking. I can tell."
"But I HATE people for dinner!
Can't I just have beans on toast?"
"You need to eat good monster food.
Shall I do them as a roast?"
"Look how your sister cleaned her plate.
She’s only left one shoe.
Just a spoon for Mummy now.
Let's just start with one or two..."
"Open your mouth!" "Nmmm, mmm, mmm, mmm,"
"Don't you shake your head at me!"
“Ah mum, people make me queasy.
Maybe I should set them free?"
"I am done. I'm through with talking.
Eat your dinner in one bite!"
"But Mum, I just can't swallow people!"
"Why?" "It's gross and it's not right!"
"Oh, I GIVE up little monster!
Off to bed or you'll be late.
Dump the people out the back door,
But at least PLEASE eat your plate!"
Poem © 2014 Mo O'Hara
Illustration © Loretta Schauer
The Witches’ Cookbook, out today,
Is causing quite a stir,
Among the witchy cooks and chefs,
Who all at once concur,
That spellbound recipes like these
Not seen by human eyes
Will make these books fly off the shelves.
Because this cookbook flies!
Delia Dastardly is quoted,
“Love those witchy spells!”
Nigella Nevermore said how
Enchantingly it smells.
Hugh Furnace Whitingtoad wrote,
“Glad the potions are organic.”
And Jamie All-Over declared,
“The puddings are titanic!”
But he witchy supreme challenge
For a chef of magic arts,
Is the Cauldron Blue of cooking
Tangy Tarantula Tarts
They’re delicious and they’re deadly
As they crawl across the cover.
A combination bound to interest
Any witch food lover.
The Hairy Wizard Bikers
Stroked their beards and said together
“They are Arachnid heaven.
Pastry’s lighter than a feather.”
“But there’s quite a risk to eating them.
You really need the knack.
The reason they’re so good is
They’re a pudding that bites back.”
Poem ©2013 Mo O'Hara
Illustrations ©2013 Paul Morton
There once lived a young maiden with shiny gold hair,
She had blue sparkling eyes and a confidant air.
And one day that same maiden was heard to declare,
"I must set out to find the most comfortable chair!"
Word went out in the land, ‘A new chair we must find!’
But each chair that was brought her, she promptly declined.
She tried soft backs and hard backs, wool, wood and silk lined,
But no chair in the land would impress her behind.
Then while walking she came ‘pon a cottage so cozy,
And peered through the window (she was very nosy).
She spotted three chairs and her cheeks went all rosie,
"I need to sit down, as I do feel quite dozy."
“I must try those chairs now, there’s no room for delay!”
So she picked the door lock, like she’s seen in a play.
But the two bigger chairs left her rump in dismay.
Then she tried the third chair and cried, "Haloo, Hallay!"
She said, "This is the chair I have searched for so long.
To abandon this chair now would simply be wrong.
I shall sit in this chair, hum a happy chair song
and I’ll wait til the folk from the house come along."
And so that's where they found her, in that very chair
When the three bears returned home and came down the stairs.
And well, bears being bears, they just ate her right there.
But they all took great care not to mess up the chair.
Poem ©2013 Mo O'Hara
Image ©2013 Bridget Strevens-Marzo
One step beyond, past normalness, past ordinary niceties,
past commonplace, past with a trace of good practical pricities,
There is a land where magical, befuddled, wind- up wonders
Move to and fro, their locomotion shudders, sparks and blunders.
There, horses gallop on a track with pistons pumping power
And fishes swim straight through the sky aboard a steam shot shower.
Lizard motors slither down the road with black smoke billowing.
Dragonflies dive bomb so loud, your ears need much more pillowing.
Zeppelins, planes, balloons and trains all have an animality
About them, so that Noah would have noticed a duality.
This place is like no other, it’s unique upon our planet
But you can only happen on it once and never plan it.
So I’m sad to say, I’ve been today, and now I’ll not be back
To the junkedly, quite clunkedly, magnificent outback
This safari of amazing mechanized mysterious creatures
Will be etched upon my mind and in my dreams will be a feature.
As I leave to travel home upon the ferry service offered
I am spellbound by the sights, the smells, the squawks that I am proffered.
Though some others sure would look upon this journey with derision
I am thrilled to say I rode home on a shiny steam punk pigeon.
Poem: ©2013 Mo O'Hara
Illustration: ©2013 John Shelley
I am an inventor of buzzy wuz things:
Flog choppers, space swooshers and all things with wings.
There's something inside me that just loves to see,
Flip floating, swing swooping ships swirling round me.
I make wiberty jubbits and flittery flubes.
Lots of puffity tubbits and jittery shloos.
Sometimes buggity wugits with prickly stings
or a spinnery spugit that plops, pops and pings.
And I take them all outside at least once a day
And let them buzz round in the sky for a play.
Then when winders wind down and puffers loose steam,
I tuck them up so they can recharge and dream.
Poem ©2013 Mo O'Hara
Illustration ©2013 Mike Brownlow
You’ll fall and end up
smooshed like spam!
Oh no I won’t.
I have a plan.
Look, you can’t fly.
Those aren’t real wings,
They’re just some frondy
I know. They’re just there
for the look.
I thought I’d do it
by the book,
And have some wings
At least for show.
Great you’ve got wings,
Now can we go?
This flying thing is so absurd.
You’re just a kid,
You’re not a bird!
Yes I’m a kid
But I can fly.
I don’t know how.
I don’t know why.
I just know that
I have to t
Oh, I can’t look.
Open your eyes!
You’re flying?! Wow,
That’s a surprise.
Nah I knew
I’d fly you see.
But there is one thing
That’s bugging me.
I might need you
To lend a hand?
I’m really not sure
How to land.
Image ©2012 Sam Zuppardi
Poem ©2012 Mo O'Hara